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Ngoni culture scholar faults Gomani’s dethronement

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A Ngoni culture scholar, Desmond Dudwa Phiri (D.D Phiri), has faulted the procedure some royal Gomani family members in Ntcheu followed to fire Inkosi ya Makosi Gomani V, Mswati Willard Gomani.

A meeting that 24 Gomani family members conducted two weeks ago resolved to fire the Maseko Ngoni Paramount Chief for allegedly despising other family members.

At that meeting, Titus Phillip Gomani, who is the Senior Prince, declared Dingiswayo Samson Gomani as the caretaker Inkosi Ya Makosi.

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But Phiri, who has been a keen follower of the Ngoni culture for some time, said it is not correct for one person to fire a Paramount Chief as the Ngoni culture recognises a council of elders (an Indaba) as having powers to make such decisions.

“An indaba is council of elders which is attended by Amakhosi (chiefs] Amulumuzana (nobles), Amakhanda (village heads). They meet and settle disputes. What has happened now is very unusual. That son to Inkosi ya Makosi Gomani II cannot unilaterally depose the leader. An Indaba will have to be involved,” Phiri said.

He said in Ngoni culture, a person cannot be a chief without people which means some people from Inkosi ya Makosi Gomani’s jurisdiction are also supposed to have a say.

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“As the Paramount Chief, the rest of people within his jurisdiction are interested in him and through their chiefs, noblemen and village heads, they will have to decide on the matter. The meeting will have to ask the disgruntled royal family members on why they want the chief removed,” he said.

Phiri said apart from the cultural norms, the chief and her aunt are also entitled to the constitutional right to be heard.

He then accused the family members of being judges in their own case, saying the accuser cannot deliver a judgment in any case.

“Give a chance to the other side. The royal family members said the Chief doesn’t respect the other family members. But they must give these two people a chance to explain their part.

“The other constitutional right says you can’t be a judge in your own cases. If you are a policeman, you cannot go to court and sit as a judge. So, the royal family having accused the young man and her aunt of despising other royal family members, they can’t tell the people to appear before the accusers. It has to be subjected to an Indaba. The accused must be heard but not by somebody who is already partisan,” Phiri said.

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